Nursing students selected for prestigious Emerging Nurse Leader Program

15 October 2020

Five “exceptional early career nurses” from The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Fremantle School of Nursing & Midwifery have been selected to take part in the prestigious Australian College of Nursing (ACN) Emerging Nurse Leader Program (ENL) in 2021.

The renowned program is divided into five stages, reflecting the challenges and opportunities nurses face as they progress through their leadership journeys. Over nine months, participants receive invaluable opportunities to develop their leadership skills and confidence, including mentoring, coaching, professional development, and more.

Jakodi Millar, Brian Cheung, and Karen Gillies have both already completed the first stage of the five-stage program, and have now been selected for Stage Two, in which enrolled nurses or registered nurses in their first year of practice are empowered to grow, while Kate Saw has been selected for Stage One, in which students completing a Diploma of Nursing, Bachelor of Nursing (final year), Nursing Masters or Nursing Honours year are empowered to learn. Alumni Danni-Lee Dean will be beginning Stage Four of the program, in which Enrolled nurses or registered nurses in their fourth or fifth year of practice are empowered to achieve.

In the future, Jakodi, Brian, Karen, Kate, and Danni-Lee may continue on through the program, going through Stage Three, Stage Four, and Stage Five (when they will be empowered to lead).

Brian is thankful for all the support the ACN offered in the form of opportunities, saying “the proudest moment from the ENL program was that it empowered me to put into place programs that will support future undergraduate students in the form of a mentoring program that will ease their transition into the workforce.”

Similarly, Jakodi said the most valuable part of the ENL was the increased opportunities it awards for networking and meeting new people.

“The ENL program offered deep insight into the person-centred foundations of nursing, where passionate people strive to advance the profession,” Jakodi said.

I felt welcomed and supported as fantastic mentors encouraged me to participate in the NursingNow vision, and I formed invaluable friendships, networks and skills as my confidence grew.

Kate said she was incredibly excited and grateful for the opportunity to develop my leadership skills and network with the inspiring group of professionals at the Australian College of Nursing.

"I am most looking forward to the mentor and coaching aspect of the program which I hope will give me enhanced insight; developing my strengths as a future nurse so that I can contribute positively to the profession and hopefully inspire others as well! Being paired with an industry mentor is such a fantastic opportunity to explore the many different pathways that nursing has to offer, as well as preparing for the challenges of transitioning to practice.

"Programs such as ENL expand your perspective, opening up opportunities and relationships that have the potential to shape your career and beyond. Nursing requires lifelong learning and reflection and this kind of program is an excellent start to that journey."

Dean of Nursing & Midwifery Professor Karen Clark-Burg said it was great to see the hard work of the ENL participants being recognised.

“Taking part in this program while juggling work and/or study commitments as an early career nurse is a massive undertaking and a much-deserved achievement, and that’s without the added challenges of completing the program during an unprecedented pandemic,” Professor Clark-Burg said.

“We are very proud of our student and alumni nurses and wish them the best as they begin the next stage of their healthcare careers.”

Because of COVID-19, the 2020 ENL cohort will have to wait for their formal graduation, which will take place at the 2021 National Nursing Forum.

If you are interested in leadership, management, and governance in nursing, check out our fully online Graduate Certificate in Nursing Leadership and Management.

Media Contact: Breyon Gibbs : +61 8 9433 0569 |